You do not have to use Skype! However, since Skype is probably the most popular group video-chat service, it is offered as the “default” option.
The Skype Planner is offered as a convenience and an aid to help you in planning and sharing your Skype call or live chat information. Please note that the name “Skype” is a registered mark of Microsoft Corporation and references to the name “Skype” on this page refer to the specific “Skype” service offered by Microsoft. At this time, Web Baby Shower does not provide its own video chat services “in-house”. You must use Microsoft Skype, Google+ Hangouts, or another 3rd party video call or video chat provider.
How do you pick one? Good question. It really depends on what you and your guests are the most comfortable with, on what services you already use and have accounts and apps installed for already, and how many people you want to include at once.
If everyone already has the Skype app installed on their devices and if everyone is already friends on Skype, then that would seem to be a logical choice. The one draw-back to Skype is that only up to 5 people can participate in video chat at once, which is kinda small for a baby shower (note: technically, up to 9 people can participate in a Skype video group call, however, Skype recommends a maximum of 5 for quality and performance).
Also, the last time I tried this during 2015, the Skype app for iPhone & iPad, can only participate in group call via audio. Eg: there was no video of the person who was Skyping in on an iPad.
Please also note that Skype offers both video Group Calls and voice (only) Group Calls. If it is a video chat that you are interested in, please make sure that you are reading the information about video group calls on Skype. The voice only group call is an option where you can have more participants, but you will only see the participants’ “avatar” profile photos and not live video.
For more information about using Skype, please visit Skype Home Page
Google+ Hangouts is another popular option and does allow up to 10 people on one video chat call, which is slightly more palatable for a baby shower. Everyone has to have a Google+ Account, and if they are using a mobile or hand-held device, then they should also download the Google+ Hangouts app for their device. For more information about using Google+ Hangouts, please visit Google+ Hangouts Home Page
There are many other popular, free, paid, online chat, video call, video chat, and online conferencing services. You can use your favorite search engine to find them, or ask the expecting / adopting parent(s) which services they use.
It is fine if you choose to use a service other than Skype or Google+ Hangouts; just be sure that your guests have all of the information and links they need to create an account, download any software or apps and join your chat.
It is also fine to use all of them! If you and the expecting parents have enough time to host a video chat on Skype, Google+ Hangouts, or any other services you decide on, you can host one of each in order to accommodate your guests’ preferences! You can add as many live chats using as many services as you like to the Skype Planner page in your Web Baby Shower (see above).
It is also fine to skip the live chat portion entirely!! Part of the reason that Web Baby Shower is web-based is to make sure everyone can participate, even if they cannot make it to an in-person or live chat event!